Like quite a few other venues across Queensland and Australia, the Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) are hosting a special line-up of shows and events across January to coincide with the school holiday period. Known as ‘SummerSet 2016’, this line-up includes Carnival of the Animals (Ages 5+), The Tiger Who Came to Tea (Ages 2+), Roald Dahl’s George’s Marvellous Medicine (6+) and more. Although many of these shows are ones that the whole family can see and enjoy, they are much more tailored towards a much younger demographic. Therefore, they would be unusual choices to bring your older children or a date night. There are a small number of options which are much more appealing to older audiences, if not tailored towards them – with one such option being Cirque Adrenaline.
Cirque Adrenaline is exactly what its title promotes, two hours of (often) highly intense circus arts which would definitely keep the adrenaline of its cast (and quite possibly some in the crowd) pumping from start to finish. This show features an assortment of approximately a dozen different acts, each of which have fitting titles including “Sphere of Fear” and “Extreme Fire”. Each type of circus art runs for a reasonably length of time, and usually increase in intensity from “wow” to “How in the world haven’t they plunged 30 metres onto the ground yet?”.
The standard of each act was consistently high, with each highlighting a different talent or skill with minimal similarities between them. One act you could be watching Aerial Lyra (Sabrina Aganier) showcase her distinct flexibility whilst suspended above the stage in a hoop, and the next you could witness Gediminas Pavlovicius stand atop an increasingly and not insignificant number of wobby cylinders and other items without face-planting. The most impressive act in my opinion however was the Wheel of Death, a large spinning contraption which can spin clockwise and anticlockwise depending on the power of gravity. Cast members Angelo Rodriguez and Carlos Mayorga were able to pull off a stunning display, as they flung themselves into the air and pulled a number of other stunts throughout the 5-10 minute segment. Many of the acts left me stunned, and it is clear that Cirque Adrenaline have managed to draw in some fantastic talent from around the world.
When you think of Cirque Adrenaline, you might be left thinking they will exclusively be performing death-defying acts. However, this is not the case. On multiple occasions during the show, particularly when it seemed like the stage crew needed a bit more time to set up for the next act, viewers will find themselves treated to the entertaining antics of Darren Partridge (Aka. Dizzy the Clown). From a good 10-minute round of audience participation antics to a couple of standalone acts which left the crowd roaring with laughter, he was one of the biggest stars that night. However, those who suffer badly from stage fright might want to avoid the first few rows…
While the most important factor of Cirque Adrenaline was the circus arts, the experience was enriched with some really intense music, great use of live sound effects during a particular act with Dizzy the Clown and some brilliant and colourful lighting choices which got me pumped for this show the moment I entered the QPAC Concert Hall. Given I have only really ever seen concerts, stage musicals and one-man shows in the Concert Hall previously, I was a little bit sceptical about how much the venue woukd offer a show like this. My scepticism was proven wrong, and I was left pleasantly surprised.
It was hard to find too many flaws with Cirque Adrenaline, as it was overall a great assortment of acts performed by talent who clearly knew their stuff back to front. If anything, I would say there were a few acts where things on-stage were a little bit too busy, or there were otherwise had cast members just standing around on-stage for no real reason while only a couple of people did anything. However, these were very minor issues, and didn’t really hamper the experience.
Overall, aside from a few minor issues, I found it very difficult to fault any one area of Cirque Adrenaline. It is an amazing barrage of distinct and enjoyable circus arts, which saw me regularly laugh, frequently applaud, and on more than one occasion, gasp at the thought that one slip up with acts of this calibre could lead to a serious accident. Cirque Adrenaline is shaping up to be a major highlight of QPAC’s 2016 summer series, and is show I highly recommend fans of circus arts seeing before it leaves on January 17.
Two tickets to see Cirque Adrenaline was provided by the team at QPAC.
Tickets to see Cirque Adrenaline can be purchased online or by contacting the QPAC box office.